1914 Futurist Boat Ring
The Italian Futurists of the early 20th century were, in essence, the polar opposite of the Arts & Crafts movement; they found more beauty and excitement in the technological advances of the Modern Age, with its aeroplanes and high-speed trains, advanced industrialisation, and the dissemination of mass media such as radio and film, than they did in the artistic and cultural traditions of the past. Through a series of radical and wide-ranging manifestos, they set out their ambitions to drag Italy (literally kicking and screaming if necessary) away from the Roman and Renaissance legacies that dominated its past. The movement's founder, Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, stated in the 1909 manifesto: "We want no part of it, the past, we the young and strong Futurists!" and, "We will free Italy from her innumerable museums which cover her like countless cemeteries." They saw themselves as avant garde revolutionaries, embracing speed, technology, youth culture, and violence in the name of cultural progress. The first Futurist movement effectively ended with the death of Umberto Boccioni, one of its principal figures, during a WW1 training operation in 1916, and its legacy has been tarnished by association with fascism. After the war, Marinetti attempted to revive the movement, in what would later be called Second Futurism, and it became increasingly associated with Italian fascism - ultimately leading to a mass walk-out of the socialists, communists and anarchists at the 1924 Milan Futurist Congress.
This unusual boat ring, made in 1914, appears to have been influenced by the original Futurist movement. The aesthetic is remeniscent of the later Art Deco movement - the illusion of motion is created by shoulder detailing, and the sleek, aerodynamic shape features a pierced gallery with a single gold circle to either side of the head. It's crafted in 18ct gold and set with five graduated old cut diamonds. English hallmarks date it to the year 1914.
Era: Edwardian, 1914
Head: 14.8mm by 7.3mm
Ring size: O or 7.25 US. Resizable for £35
Stones: Single cut diamonds
Hallmarks: English, Birmingham, 18ct gold, 1914
Condition: Great antique condition
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